The Pac-12 Conference was perhaps the biggest loser last March as at least six teams were set to make the NCAA Tournament. The league had sent just three teams in 2018 and 2019, but the league responded a season ago.
The Pac-12 Conference doesn’t have one dominant team, but there are a handful of solid teams up at the top. This will be a fun race to keep an eye on, and this league should once again place more than half of its teams in the Big Dance.
Pac-12 leaders initially canceled all games until January 1, but teams in the league can now begin playing when everyone else does in November.
Projected Order of Finish
- UCLA Bruins
- Oregon Ducks
- Arizona State Sun Devils
- Arizona Wildcats
- USC Trojans
- Stanford Cardinal
- Utah Utes
- Colorado Buffaloes
- Washington Huskies
- California Golden Bears
- Washington St. Cougars
- Oregon St. Beavers
Most people will have the Oregon Ducks at the top of this list, but Payton Pritchard is no longer in Eugene. Pritchard was the face of the league in 2020, and that is a huge loss for the Ducks.
Look for the UCLA Bruins to win the Pac-12 Conference this season and build off of the momentum that started a season ago. UCLA won seven-straight games, and the Bruins were squarely on the bubble when the season was called off.
Arizona State and Arizona could both factor in the mix as well, but it feels like these four teams are clearly better than the rest. There can always be a surprise team, but either UCLA, Oregon, Arizona, or ASU will win the Pac-12 Conference this season.
Potential NCAA Tournament Teams (6)
The Pac-12 Conference would have been thrilled to receive six at-large bids in the NCAA Tournament in 2020, and it’s looking like that will be the mark this season as well. With just 12 teams to choose from, seeing half of the teams play in the NCAA Tournament is a good thing for the league.
These six teams should all be in the NCAA Tournament at the end of the season unless things go in the wrong direction. The first four teams on the list below feel like absolute locks, but Sanford and USC will have some work to do.
- Arizona State
If the Pac-12 Conference is going to get at least seven teams in the NCAA Tournament his season, look for either Utah or Washington to make a case. Both teams have a history of being a tournament team, but each team will have a young roster in 2020.
Final Four Contenders
Even though the Pac-12 Conference should get at least half of its teams into the NCAA Tournament, there isn’t really a Final Four contender in the league. That could change throughout the season, but none of the teams feel capable of getting to the Final Four this season.
UCLA and Oregon will likely have the best chance, but both teams will have to improve throughout the season. Other leagues have some clear Final Four contenders, but that isn’t the case in the Pac-12 Conference.
Pac-12 Player of the Year Race
Reigning Pac-12 Player of the Year, Payton Pritchard, has moved on as have a number of other top players from a season ago. This league will once again have a strong freshman class, but it seems pretty clear what player will win the Player of the Year.
Arizona State guard Remy Martin decided to return to school, and he could lead the Sun Devils on a deep run this season. Martin averaging 19.1 points per game a season ago, and he is the best offensive player in the league.